Here’s How You Ugly Up a Castle

Modern architecture has its place. This is not it.

By Athena Wisotsky

 
Here's How You Ugly Up a 15th-Century Spanish Castle
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30 December 2016

We love modern design when it saves us from having to fetch our water from a well or wear a winter coat to bed, but sometimes it sure is an eyesore.

Case in point: the Coracera Castle in Madrid, spearheaded by Riaño+ arquitectos, is a project we regrettably cannot endorse, as much as the idea appeals to us on paper. This 15th-century castle was declared a Historic Heritage Site, and is part public and part private property; those in control aim to turn it into a Museum of Wine at some point.

Given the strict nature of heritage sites on this side of the pond, we aren’t entirely sure how some of these upgrades are legal. Namely that black mass in the courtyard and the bulky spiral staircase inside. 

To be fair, one approach to renovating historic buildings is to make it abundantly clear what is new and old, and we're guessing that's what happened here, considering the scale and public funding of this project also includes the surrounding property and views of and from the fortress. The plan was reported to have “required very distinctive phases.”

So we'll give them that.

But we won't necessarily be visiting soon.

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